"Once you feel the weight of glory, all your pain will fade to memory.."
"Before the Morning"
by Josh Wilson
I heard an amazing new song while out running errands. It was a similar experience to when I heard "Thats What Faith Can Do" for the first time. It captured me from the first line.."Do you wonder why you have to feel the things that hurt you..". I immediately felt the pull on my heart and turned the music just a little bit louder.
"..maybe there are things you can't see.. the pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy thats comin.. the pain that you've been feeling, is just the hurt before the healing.."
I felt like it was Ansley's new song. The words just resonated in such a deeply personal way. I don't think I could put any words on the feelings we have now better than the line I opened with..
.."once you feel the weight of glory, all your pain will fade to memory.."
The feelings we had in the beginning of this trial were absolute despair..anguish.. intense grieving, all while desperately clinging to Jesus, praising Him through the fire and hoping in His promise of abundant life - whatever that may look like for our daughter. I can remember the night of October 1st (when we got the results of her MRI and were told the probable outcome of her life) not being able to sleep so I came downstairs. I remember just falling onto the ottoman with heaving sobs. No words or prayers could even come.. just crying mixed in with calling His name. Psalm 30:5 says ".. though the sorrow may last for the night, His joy comes with the morning." Slowly, He began to stir that hope in us, the hope to step out in faith and call upon His power to heal and restore Ansley's brain. Milestone by milestone, miracle by miracle. So many questions, so many uncertainties. Fast forward five months later...
The weight of God's glory is so powerfully heavy over Ansley's life that it makes those weeks and months in the beginning feel so much more like a memory. We were just talking the other night about how we can't even feel the intensity of that pain anymore because of the GLORY of God in our daughter. We can remember, oh we can remember very well, but we don't feel it anymore. I am just absolutely speechless at the mercy God has granted her. We certainly are not surprised at God's power, but we are humbled at His mercy. (Romans 9:18 "There fore, God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy..") It so challenging to submit your own will in regards to the health of your child when your pray. To abandon all your hopes and desires for your child's life and pray that God's will be done, for His glory... whatever that may be. We certainly have known (and still know) that God's power could (and can continue to) heal Ansley one milestone at a time, but we didn't (and don't) know if he would (or will continue to). There is no surprise that He has shown His power so strong in her, just awestuck wonder that He has chosen to. He has chosen to have things stop for months at a time and then in a matter of a couple of weeks just turn one light switch on after another in her development. No doubt an intentional showing of His power and of His choosing. The glorious healing that has already taken place will not be credited to therapies and intervention, but rather to His mercy and His healing touch. As you know, if you've been following Ansley's story, everything happens overnight. She just wakes up with new skills out of nowhere. It is because the Lord speaks them to be one at a time. We pray this will continue for the rest of her life.
(You can listen to the Josh Wilson here.. it is AMAZING and can be translated to so many different circumstances whether you are praying for healing or just experiencing hurt. It is certainly Ansley's new sweet song!!!!)
Fast forward to today...
I drove to Ansley's nine month well visit with tears rolling down my face. Tears of joy and celebration of the good gifts of life God has given Ansley. We were greeted by the receptionist that (with tears in her eyes as well) commented that she just loves seeing Ansley and seeing what God is doing in her life. She mentioned that her and one of the nurse practioners had been discussing Ansley's story and how God is choosing her to show that He is still in control. Ah, I love it! I love seeing other people be affected by God's glory in Ansley. It is undeniable. You cannot deny the work and wonder of Jesus Christ in Ansley's life because there is no logical explanation for what is happening. The nurse practioner peeked in while we were waiting to say her and see the little miss, so we got to tell her how awesome she is doing. She informed me she sent the blog out to everyone in the office! I've always kind of wondered what the medical community would think of all of this, so it's wild having her doctor team know we are praying for unheard of miracles for Ansley. (And if any of you from our lovely pediatrician office are reading... we LOVE LOVE you all so much and are soooo unbelievably thankful for your support and care!!!! You are all so wonderful!) We have been called to tell her story, and pray that it continues to be one of God's amazing power and mercy. We certainly got plenty of "you all are crazy and unrealistic" looks in the beginning of this journey from various people we shared with, but there is no denying God's power here and now, nine months later. Another HUUUUUUUGE praise from her appointment today is that her head is growing again. As of 3 weeks ago, it had not budged since the beginning of December and it is now growing again. It is something I still don't quite know what to think of, because I measured her head five days ago and it was still the same as it was in December. I measured it over and over and got the same reading everytime. So, when the nurse said the number this morning, I really had to try to stifle the explosion of excitement inside! I really don't know what to think about it. Did I measure wrong several times.. or did her head grow that much in five days?? Regardless, the Lord is growing her brain which is just an indescribable praise! She hasn't gained an ounce since her last weight check, but she grew an inch so that's awesome!! The doctor said she wouldn't gain weight when she has grown that significantly in length... another huge praise that God is obviously giving her her daily bread.
development specialist did an unofficial assessment of her development on Monday and she is a completely age appropriate nine month old baby. She is slightly behind in her gross motor skills because she is not crawling yet, but we are happy to say that she is getting up on her hands and knees rocking back and forth, so we know it is just a matter of time. Her specialist said it wouldn't even show up as a delay on an offical score sheet. All other areas of development were between 9-11 months. Her newest skill is waving. Um, can NOT tell you how much I love this!!!!!!! We have thought several times she was doing it, but this morning, she waved her fingers perfectly at the pediatrician office receptionist. She has many words that she knows and responds to by looking at the appropriate object and is maaaaybe saying book. She is obsessed with books/storytime and whenever we get them out, she taps on them and says "b-b-b". She also does that for ball.. so I don't really know. Regardless, her babbling is right where it should be, which is HUGE gift.
Ansley also, by the sweet mercy of our Lord, has never had a seizure!! Again, no words to describe how grateful we are that the blood of Christ is being poured out in protection over her brain against seizures!!!
There are really no words to express our gratitude in your joining us in prayer for Ansley. God is moving mountains in her life and we so abundantly grateful. Please continue joining us in prayer! Thank you, we love you! Her story is continuing to amaze...